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The News Centre

Archived News Headlines for Jan/Feb/March 2010

Link to main News Archives page

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31 March 2010: More eyebrows and tempers raised in Auckland at St Matthew-in-the-City
Ekklesia reports that when St Matthew-in-the-City posted a reminder that Easter is about more than a rugged cross, a supernatural miracle, or a chocolate bunny, a few people were outraged. Hey, at least they paid attention. Ekklesia also reminds us that Jesus had been charged with blasphemy shortly before being handed over to the Romans for crucifixion. Do read this note by Riazat Butt, religion editor of The Guardian (London), about it all.

31 March 2010: Church steeple toppled in bitter dispute over fate unused church
The Montreal Gazette reports that the latest episode in an argument over whether the abandoned church building should be turned into a museum or razed to expand the churchyard has resulted in vandals toppling the steeple. It seems to us that there are plenty of active churches whose congregations have turned them into museums that there's no need for making another museum out of an abandoned church.


28 March 2010: Police bias towards Kunonga exposed
The Daily News (Zimbabwe) reports on an operational order which the police circulated last week detailing their support of the Kunonga-led faction in the Diocese of Harare. Earlier in the week, SW Radio Africa reported on the Rt Revd Sebastian Bakare's challenge to Christians of other deonminations to speak out against the persecution of Anglican parishioners.

28 March 2010: Man of the froth
The Courier Mail (Brisbane) reports that Archdeacon Gary Harch of St James in Toowoomba will hold an Easter Sunday service at a local Irish Club Hotel. 'We encourage people to come to church but if that's a barrier, we will come to you.'

27 March 2010: Much ado about alleged desecration
The Cyprus Mail reports on the allegations and denials over claims the Anglican Church exhumed Greek Orthodox graves in the Kyrenia cemetery to bury British residents who no longer fit in the adjacent British cemetery. The Rt Revd Michael Lewis, Bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, released a statement which says in part, 'I can assure concerned Cypriots and others that at no time, past or present, has there been any act of the Anglican Church in Cyprus that has affected the graves or bodies of faithful departed Orthodox in Kyrenia or anywhere else, by moving existing graves to bury British residents.'

26 March 2010: Ownership row hits church services
The Times of India reports on a property dispute over the church of St George in the Abids section of Hyderabad. The Church of South India has locked the doors, except for Sunday worship, thus keeping out the members of the pastorate committee, a body which has been managing the property since the parish's inception 150 years ago. This is the latest incident in a dispute of over two decades over ownership and use of the property.

26 March 2010: New Primate Okoh installed in Nigeria
Punch (Lagos) reports on the sermon given by the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh at his installation in which he restates his position against same-gender marriage in the church of Nigeria. Ruth Gledhill writes in the Times (UK) about the installation sermon-cum-speech as well.

26 March 2010: Incense a burning issue
The Church Times reports on the possibility that incense suppliers may need to provide clergy with a list of the dangerous properties of incense, after a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) letter called on one unnamed company to check its procedures.

25 March 2010: Church of England issues prayers for confused UK voters
Reuters reports that the Church of England has published a series of prayers aimed at cynical and confused voters to remind them they can make a difference.

24 March 2010: Alternative path to church leadership in Singapore
The Christian Post (Singaport) reports on the Tribute programme which provides a one-year mentored internship for people interested in ministry. Participants are able to 'go fulltime for a short time', and a majority then continue on for the long term.

22 March 2010: New Bishop of Chelmsford
The Rt Revd Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell has received the approval of Queen Elizabeth for appointment as Bishop of Chelmsford. The press release from 10 Downing Street is here. BBC Essex has a report here. Chelmsford is the second largest diocese in the Church of England.


20 March 2010: New bishop for Wyoming
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Revd John Sheridan Smylie was elected March 20 as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Wyoming.

19 March 2010: Akinola tackles Gaddafi over divisive comments
The Punch (Lagos) reports on remarks made by out-going primate Peter Akinola concerning the call by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for Nigeria to 'split along religious lines'. The day before, Punch carried a story with comments by the primate-elect, Nicholas Okoh, who described the incessant crises in Nigeria as 'a terrible distraction to national development'.

19 March 2010: Ousted former Harare bishop feels above the law
The Ecumenical News Service reports 'Anglicans in Zimbabwe are saying that former Harare Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga is ignoring a High Court ruling that restored access to church buildings by members of the Anglican Church of Central Africa.' Kunonga is an expert at manipulating his friend Robert Mugabe, the 86-year-old near-dictator of Zimbabwe, to use government forces to get him what he wants.

18 March 2010: US Bishop in Europe to lead rebuilding of Haiti cathedral
The US Episcopal News Service announced that Haiti Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin has asked Pierre Whalon, Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, to guide the effort of rebuilding Haiti's ruined cathedral. Fluent in both French and English, Bishop Whalon is an excellent choice for this difficult task. Bishop Whalon is also a longtime columnist for Anglicans Online; his most recent column is 'Haiti and the Devil'. Already on the job.

18 March 2010: Bishop of El Salvador survives gunfire
The Episcopal News Service reports that an unknown man fired on Bishop Martín Barahona, a church musician and the bishop's driver. The bishop was unharmed; the driver is in grave but stable condition. It is not known if there was a particular motivation for the attack, or whether this was simply symptomatic of the pervasive violence that affects the country. Barahona, who is primate of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America, is scheduled to take part in a service commemorating the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Salvadoran Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero, to be held at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. We note with a smile that when this news story was forwarded around by email (as all interesting stories are), the first line (after being mangled by Outlook) ended up saying 'EL SALVADOR: IARCA primate, two others survive gunfire By ENS staff'. It made sense to us that none of the ENS staff would be a particularly good shot.

17 March 2010: Ecumenism is antidote to credibility crisis
A press release from the World Council of Churches quotes Dr Jenny Te Paa, convener of the Anglican Peace and Justice Network. Te Paa was in Geneva, Switzerland at a World Council of Churches meeting to plan the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation to be held in Jamaica in 2011. Te Paa said, in part, 'We need to emphasize time and again the sense of mutuality and interdependence as the basis of relationships between Christians'.

17 March 2010: 10 minutes with the Bishop of Haiti
Religion News features an interview with Jean Zache Duracin, Episcopal Bishop of Haiti. The car he was in moments before the earthquake lies buried in rubble, but he remains hopeful: 'The church is there even though there are no buildings'. The Jamaica Observer also published excerpts from a letter by Duracin to the Rt Revd Alfred Reid, Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

17 March 2010: Obituary: The Rt Revd Philip Elder
The Stabroek News (Guyana) reports the death of the Rt Revd Philip Elder, former Bishop of Guyana. When he was consecrated in 1966, he was the 'first son of Guyana to share in the Episcopate'.

16 March 2010: Leintwardine village church remembers landlady
Flossie Lane, who died last year aged 94, ran the Sun Inn, one of Britain's last parlour pubs, for 74 of those years. The BBC reported this week that in her memory, a misericord will be installed in the church of St Mary Magdalene, Leintwardine. The parish magazine notes that the misericord will be 'drawn by bier' from the pub to the church, where it will be blessed by the Bishop of Ludlow.

16 March 2010: Pope to visit Britain
Cable News Network (USA) reports that Queen Elizabeth has announced that Pope Benedict XVI will visit England and Scotland from September 16-19. This will be the first-ever state visit to the UK by any pope. The Church Times has printed more details of this visit.


14 March 2010: CEO and priest on 'value and values'
The Malta Independent has a story on the Rev. Stephen Green, Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings, who spoke about his new book, Good value: reflections on money, morality and an uncertain world at the Palace in Valletta. The book speaks highly of globalisation, without letting it become an ideology.

12 March 2010: Picket line at Lambeth Palace
The Church Times tells of Church staff voting (for the first time on record) in favour of a strike. It is unlikely the church will pay their demands, as the value of its investments fell in the credit crisis and collection plate donations have been hit by the recession.

12 March 2010: Former Harare bishop calls for solidarity among Christians
The Church Times reports on an appeal from Dr Sebastian Bakare, retired Bishop of Harare, for other Christian denominations in Zimbabwe to express solidarity against the atrocities committed by deposed former bishop and government stooge Nolbert Kunonga.

11 March 2010: US diocese votes affirmation of Anglican covenant
The Anglican Covenant was drafted with the intention that provinces and not dioceses would consider it and possibly sign it. The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Diocese of Dallas has voted to affirm that document, quoting its bishop that this vote 'has nothing to do with separation from the Episcopal Church'.

11 March 2010: Joint Canadian-African communiqué
The Anglican Church of Canada has published this joint communiqué from five Canadian and six African dioceses.

10 March 2010: New diocese holds first synod
The Daily Independent (Lagos) reports on the first synod to be held in the new Diocese of Ijebu South-West at Odogbolu, Nigeria. The diocese is new enough that it is not yet listed in the Anglican Communion Provincial Directory.

9 March 2010: Disgrace charge brought against bishop
The Age (Melbourne) reports that two Australian Anglican bishops have brought formal charges of disgraceful and scandalous behaviour against a third bishop, Ross Davies of The Murray. The Age offers this opinion piece about the Diocese of The Murray, noting that its bishop lives outside of his diocese and attends worship in a Roman Catholic church.

9 March 2010: The real Church of England is in the Bahamas
A retired British diplomat on holiday in the Bahamas writes in the Telegraph of going to church — not his regular practice — and sensing 'that a God-frearing nation also happens to be a jolly nice place to live.'

9 March 2010: Downsizing and profit for Holy Cross Convent
The Benedictine Community of the Holy Cross had 20 members when they bought an 18th century building in 1979. Since only nine remain, they intend to move to a smaller property nearby. This is Leicestershire notes that they stand to make a handsome profit on the sale of their present home.

8 March 2010: Oji-Cree archdeacon elected area bishop
Lydia Mamakwa lives in Kingfisher Lake, an Oji-Cree First Nation in northern Ontario. She is a non-stipendary priest, and the registrar of the Dr William Winter School for Ministry, which trains people for native ministry. After years of consultation within the Diocese of Keewatin, an area bishopric for 16 native communities has been created, and the Anglican Journal reports that Archdeacon Mamakwa has been elected to the position.


8 March 2010: New cathedral consecrated in New Zealand
The Taranaki Daily News (NZ) reports on the consecration of Taranaki Cathedral, formerly a parish church of St Mary, with the Most Revd John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu, Archbishop of York, taking part in the celebration. The Taranaki Daily News (NZ) had a number of stories this week about his visit to New Zealand. Sentamu was welcomed warmly, rubbed noses with children, and played drums with a student jazz band.

7 March 2010: The Traditional Anglican Communion votes to swim the Tiber
Spero News reports on the vote by the House of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion confirming their intention to join the Roman Catholic Church. Spero reports that the TAC represents 'approximately 100 parishes'.

6 March 2010: Strike at Lambeth
The Daily Mail (UK) reports that the 104 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) employed by the National Church Institutions (NCI) have voted in favour of a half-day industrial action set for the afternoon of 12 March. The union employees will target Church House, Lambeth Palace, and Bishops­thorpe for the action. The Church Times provides some background here and on their blog.

6 March 2010: Evangelical bishop calls for end to battle over sexuality
Ruth Gledhill in The Times (UK) writes about the Bishop of Liverpool, a leading evangelical, who is calling for Anglicans to 'accept a diversity of ethical convictions' about human sexuality in order to prevent schism.

5 March 2010: Thinking Anglicans roundup on Equality Bill
Our friends at Thinking Anglicans have sifted through the news reports on the United Kingdom's Equality Bill and on Lord Alli's amendment allowing religious ceremonies for civil partnerships. Read their coverage here.

5 March 2010: Church and State in Zimbabwe
Voice of America reports that the Zimbabwean High Court has dismissed a bid by ousted former bishop Nolbert Kunonga to block an appeal by the Church of the Province of Central Africa against a ruling last year giving Kunonga control of church properties. The same issue is pending in the Supreme Court of the country. The High Court ruling means that Kunonga supporters and the police must allow members of the Diocese of Harare access to church properties. If the past is any guide, we expect them to ignore the ruling.

5 March 2010: Pinkish tinge puts popularity of York rose in peril
The Church Times reports on the new York Minster rose introduced to the public this week. The York Minster rose was planted opposite the Minster's Rose Window. When it becomes commercially available, the proceeds will benefit the York Minster Fund. The dean played down suggestions that the rose's pink hue, echoing the centrepiece of the Window, might be a problem for dyed-in-the-wool Yorkshire folk, who might prefer the White Rose of York.

4 March 2010: Judge lifts injunction - Bahamian archdeacon must step down
The Nassau Tribune reports on the resolution of the court battle between Archdeacon Etienne Bowleg and his archdiocese over his age and employment status. Bowleg contended that he was not subject to mandatory retirement due to age as he claimed to be younger than the date on his birth certificate.The background to this story may be found in our archives. As soon as the injunction was lifted, locksmiths were changing locks on the grounds of Most Holy Trinity Church while the bishop, the Rt Revd Laish Boyd, assured parishioners that the parish would still function as usual.

4 March 2010: Implementation guidelines released in the Diocese of Washington
With the Marriage Equality Act in the District of Columbia (USA) going into effect this week, the Rt Revd John Chane, Bishop of Washington, has released guidelines for clergy on its implementation.

3 March 2010: Zambia: Bishop urges voters to scrutinise candidates for presidency
The Times of Zambia reports on the appeal by the Rt Revd Robert Mumbi (Diocese of Luapula, Province of Central Africa) for voters to screen politicians and ensure that they elect morally upright people as president. The bishop gives concrete examples to define the character of a morally upright person. The article alsocontains his remarks on the issue of ordination of women.


27 February 2010: The new Bishop of Dunedin
The Otago Daily Times has a conversation with Dr Kelvin Wright, who has just been consecrated as Bishop of Dunedin, about his Pentecostal beginnings, his vegetarianism, his Buddhist siblings, his battle with cancer and his surprise at being elected bishop. You can read his musings, and see his photographs, on his blog, Available Light. (It features a quote from André Gide: 'Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.')

26 February 2010: ABC visits Holy Land to support Christians
The Church Times (London) reports 'Vulnerable communities in the Holy Land have received a boost of confidence after the Archbishop of Canterbury raised their profile' during his recent visit. The US Episcopal News Service filed this report.

24 February 2010: A new sculpture in St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's unveiled a work entitled 'Flare II' by Antony Gormley in the setting of the geometric staircase, as part of a program which explores the encounter between art and faith. There are more images here.

24 February 2010: The Sarum Code: what can it mean?
Ruth Gledhill reports in The Times a mystery about a recently uncovered text in Salisbury cathedral. When workers moved a monument, they discovered a fifteenth-century Gothic inscription on the wall behind it, from the period when English was first being used occasionally in preference to Latin. The archaeologists are having difficulty deciphering the inscription, and are enlisting suggestions from the public. You can see the text here.

23 February 2010: Bishops divided on gay couples taking vows in other churches
In Britain, the Civil Partnership Act forbids civil partnership ceremonies from taking place in any religious premises. The Quakers, Liberal Judaism and the Unitarian Church hoped that would be changed by an amendment. Some bishops in the House of Lords, led by the Bishop of Winchester, were opposed to it in January. Iain McLean, a Quaker, and Professor of Politics at Oxford University, questioned the bishops' claim to provide 'a voice for all people of faith' in parliament - 'You are not a voice for this person of faith'. Diarmaid MacCulloch accused the bishops of acting the bully. They and a number of other prominent church people, including the Bishop of Salisbury, Lord Harries of Pentregarth (the former Bishop of Oxford), and four other retired bishops, wrote to The Times urging peers to support the amendment when it is re-presented on March 2.

23 February 2010: New bishop installed in Melanesia
The Solomon Star reports that the Diocese of Temotu installed the Rt Revd George Takeli as their new bishop. Their previous bishop, the Most Revd David Vunagi, was elected primate of the province.

22 February 2010: When a few dead bishops are just not enough
Writing in the East African, Charles Onyango-Obbo reflects on the African pastime of killing bishops in automobile accidents. A copy of this article can be found in AllAfrica.com should the East African's website (which is actually in London EW1) be overloaded.


21 February 2010: UK lottery funding to help renovate decaying historic church buildings
The Telegraph (London) reports that English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund announced more than £15.7 million to support urgent repair work to 154 listed religious buildings across England.

20 February 2010: ABC lays cornerstone of new Anglican church on Jordan's bank
The National (United Arab Emirates) reports that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, laid the cornerstone of an Anglican church yesterday on the eastern bank of the Jordan river as part of a four-day pilgrimage tour to the Holy land.

19 February 2010: A bad road for bishops in Uganda
The Church Times (London) reports that one bishop was killed and three others were inured and a bishop's wife was killed in separate automobile accidents on the same stretch of the same road (highway A109) in Uganda.

19 February 2010: General Synod ends in England
The Synod business that seems to have been of widest international interest was the private member's motion by Lorna Ashworth asking the General Synod to express a desire to be in communion with the ACNA (rather than with the US Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada). This motion did not pass in a form that made its proposer happy. A summary of this matter is in the Church Times. Full details, including links to relevant portions of the Church Times, are nowhere better covered than in Thinking Anglicans' coverage of General Synod.

19 February 2010: Southern African bishops deplore moral decay
The Church Times reports on the statement from the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa which met in Swaziland. They condemned the 'almost unprecedented levels' of alleged corruption of political leaders, and strongly condemned the proposed Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill.

18 February 2010: Australian FIF votes to become Roman Catholic
Catholic Online (USA) reports that 'Forward in Faith Anglicans in Australia unanimously vote to become Catholic'.

17 February 2010: Desmond Tutu, famous Anglican and human rights activist, adds his sequenced genome to public database
The Guardian (London) reports that 'Archbishop Desmond Tutu has become the latest prominent figure to have his full genome deciphered.' The article goes on to note 'The African continent is widely regarded as the cradle of humanity, where human genetic diversity is at its greatest, but scientists have overwhelmingly focused their genetic research on western and Asian cultures.'

17 February 2010: Two clergy with identical names in the same parish
The Telegraph (London) reports that the arrival of a new female priest at an Anglican church in Cambridgeshire has caused confusion because her name is identical to the vicar. Ignore the misleading headline; only one of them is a vicar, and the article in the Cambridge News makes more sense though its version of the photograph is in need of some more-skilled Photoshop work.

17 February 2010: New translation of Book of Common Prayer underway
The Associated Press (USA) reports that a group at a Minnesota church with many Hmong members is working on a translation of the BCP into the Hmong language.

16 February 2010: Giving up carbon for Lent?
Reuters (London) reports that the Bishop of London and the Bishop of Liverpool are among those calling for a carbon fast for Lent. This being a secular world and all that, Reuters felt the need to add to its brief article an explanation of what 'Lent' is. The headline writer obviously had no education in physics, because he or she penned the headline 'Give up your iPod for Lent'. The carbon footprint of operating an already-manufactured iPod is remarkably small.


14 February 2010: Unholy war in Lagos West Diocese
The Sunday Sun (Nigeria) reports on a feud between the church council of St Paul in Mushin and the Rt Revd Peter Adebiyi, bishop of the Diocese of West Lagos. The dispute seems to be about tribal sensitivities, and money, and authority. The bishop makes his case here.

13 February 2010: Obituary: Archbishop Bryce, Bishop of Polynesia
The Fiji Times (Suva) reports that The Most Revd Jabez Leslie Bryce, 'the longest-standing bishop serving' in the Anglican Communion, has died. He also was the Co-Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia.

13 February 2010: Pastor's ban sparks unholy Anglican stoush
The Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald reports the Supreme Court of New South Wales will hear the case of Bruce Haddon who had been appointed to greet parishioners at the Sunday evening services at St Aidan in Annandale. But when members of his home Bible study group told the rector that he questioned the accuracy of the Old Testament, the pastor banned him from his greeting role. The disagreement (stoush) escalated and Mr Haddon was expelled from the congregation. No explanation was given, and Mr Haddon felt that the rumours circulating defamed him.

12 February 2010: Vicar tells women to submit to husbands
The Reverend Angus MacLeay is rector of the ancient parish of St Nicholas Sevenoaks, a General Synod member, and a trustee of Reform, the main evangelical group opposed to women bishops. Although the BBC reported on his role in this debate, he attracted more attention when he circulated a leaflet in his parish, advising women to submit to their husbands. A few days later, his curate told the congregation that the behaviour of modern women was to blame for Britain's high divorce rate. The Telegraph reports that the views of Mr MacLeay and his curate have prompted dozens of women parishioners to cancel their financial support for the parish.

12 February 2010: Obituary: Bishop James Kauluma, Diocese of Namibia
The New Era (Namibia) reports on the death of human rights activist, the Rt Revd James Hamupanda Kauluma, the first Namibian to serve as bishop in that country.

11 February 2010: Planned 'goat cleansing' raises friction in church
The Daily Nation (Kenya) reports the bishop of Bungoma, the Rt Revd George Mechumo, is set to cleanse a church in his diocese after earlier skirmishes in which three priests were hurt. The planned cleansing ceremony involves a goat.

9 February 2010: Cops take Messiah into custody
The Toowoomba Chronicle (Queensland) reports on the sudden appearance of a statue of Jesus on the lawn of the church of St Matthew. The local constabulary are quoted: 'We actually had a bit of trouble getting him out of the back seat of the vehicle after we picked him up.'


7 February 2010: Church of England General Synod
The General Synod of the Church of England begins February 8. The C of E's synods are held frequently enough that it is rare for more than one major issue to surface in a synod. The major issue this time appears to be a 'private member's motion' that the Church of England declare itself to be in communion with a breakaway group in the USA. Dr Alan Wilson, a bishop in the Diocese of Oxford, notes in The Guardian that 'How the General Synod works is more important than anything it decides.' Thinking Anglicans has done its usual enclopedic job of collecting information about the synod, and Thinking Anglicans principal Simon Sarmiento has become a player in the pre-synod wars by writing a rebuttal to the facts stated in that motion, whereupon parts of his rebuttal were themselves rebutted by the American Anglican Council, whose website is much flashier. The Church Times notes that Canadian priest Alan Perry has challenged the accuracy of the private member's motion as it references the Anglican Church of Canada, and was in turn slightly rebutted by Anglican Essentials Canada.

7 February 2010: Controversial New Zealand clergyman reported suddenly gone
The New Zealand Herald reports that 'The Anglican clergyman behind a controversial Christmas billboard of Joseph and Mary in bed is no longer Archdeacon of Auckland, but the city's Anglican Bishop denies he has been sacked.' We contacted him by email, and he noted numerous errors in the Herald article, and pointed out that all seven archdeacons must offer pro forma resignations in advance of the installation of a new bishop in April. We still think it was a great billboard.

5 February 2010: UK churches retain their legal right to discriminate
The Church Times reports that the UK Minister for Women and Equality, Harriet Harman, has said that the exemption given to churches by the UK employment and non-discrimination law will remain as it is.

5 February 2010: Badgers and goats at church in Leeds
The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that a church in Leeds (England) has borrowed a herd of goats to help it maintain its grounds. Wasn't it Percy Dearmer who insisted that a parish ought to have a sheep to keep its grounds tidy?

5 February 2010: Middle East presiding bishop resigns from Standing Committee
The Church Times (London) reports that Dr Mouneer Anis, the President-Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East has resigned from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion because he couldn't get anybody to see things his way. If you think we're being snide by reporting it this way, please read his official statement of resignation and the accompanying explanation. This report from the US Episcopal News Service gives some context and background.

5 February 2010: Church of England sells Vedanta Resources shares
The Church of England has sold its shares in the mining company Vedanta Resources because of concerns over the corporation's human rights record. The Independent reports that the Church's Ethical Investment Advisory Group visited the site in the Indian state of Orissa in November, and recommended disinvestment.

3 February 2010: Canadian church grants sanctuary to former Chinese spy
The National Post (Canada) reports that a man who spied on Chinese dissidents in the United States has been living in an Anglican church in Toronto.

1 February 2010: Pittsburgh judge orders return of assets taken from Diocese of Pittsburgh
The Episcopal News Service reports that 'A judge has told the organization headed by former bishop Robert Duncan that claims to have withdrawn from the Episcopal Church in 2008 that it must turn over control of the Diocese of Pittsburgh's assets.' The Diocese of Pittsburgh issued this news release.


31 January 2010: Queen's adviser meets Archbishop of Westminster after Pope's offer to Anglicans
The Telegraph reports that the Queen took the unusual step of having the Lord Chamberlain (the most senior member of the Royal Household) meet with Archbishop Nichols following Pope Benedict's invitation to Anglicans to convert to Rome. Damian Thompson suggests that the Queen was unhappy about aspects of the scheme. The New Zealand Herald went so far as to use 'irked' in the headline for its report on this.

31 January 2010: Bishop of Washington to retire
The Washington Post (US) reports the Bishop of Washington (DC), the Rt Revd John B Chane announced at the diocesan convention that he will retire next year.

30 January 2010: Church and state in Zimbabwe
Baton-wielding police officers drove out 60 children from a church nursery school, because their parents do not support excommunicated bishop Nolbert Kunonga, reports ZimOnline. Over 4,000 worshippers gathered in Unity Square in Harare, because the police were denying them access to the adjacent cathedral, according to AFP News.

29 January 2010: ABC's statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day
Starting in 2006, 27 January has been designated by the UN as Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Christian Post (Singapore) reports on the day and includes quotes from the remarks of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The full text of Dr. Williams' remarks are here.

29 January 2010: Kidnapped Nigerian bishop released
Last week we reported that the Bishop of Benin, Peter Imasuen, was kidnapped on his way home from the cathedral, and held for ransom. This week, the Vanguard reported on a protest organized by the Christian Association of Nigeria, of which the bishop is chair. The protest was led by a Catholic cleric and almost brought the city to a standtill. The Punch (Lagos) reports the bishop was released a few days after his capture.

28 January 2010: Bishop speaks in Nigeria
AllAfrica.com picked up a story from The Daily Independent (Lagos) in which the Rt Revd Emmanuel Chukwuma urged voters to 'shun moneybag politicians' and vote for a candidate of integrity in the upcoming governorship election in Anambra State.

28 January 2010: Diocese of British Columbia officially takes its head out of the sand
The Christian Post reports on a major restructuring being planned by the Diocese of British Columbia because of declining membership. The official 51-page diocesan report is here; like all 51-page official reports few of you will read it. The 2-page summary and press release is here, but even two pages is more than most people seem to want to read these days. So here's the one-sentence summary (fewer than 140 characters, even): 'A culture change is necessary for the Church to continue: a culture that focuses on service outwards rather than inwards upon itself.' If the bishop and his diocese actually accomplish this plan, they will change the world. The Times Colonist, whose reporter seems actually to have read and understood the 51-page report, notes that the diocese plans to close ten churches.

27 January 2010: Remembrance of a faithful caretaker of historic church clock tower
The Telegraph-Journal (Saint John, NB) carried a story on Jim Groundwater, recently deceased, who was dedicated to maintaining the clockworks at Trinity, an historic church in Saint John. 'He was incredibly...conscientious and would regulate the clock so that it never was more than a second or two away from the national standard in Ottawa.'

26 January 2010: Church of England writes off US$78 million from Manhattan property investment
In 2007 the Church Commissioners invested heavily in Stuyvesant Town on the East River, in the largest real estate deal in American history. The Episcopal News Service reports the fall in property values and other factors have led to a massive loss.

26 January 2010: Row over condoms ends in Tanzania
The Citizen (Dar Es Salaam) reports that the long-simmering conflict between the Rt Revd Simon Makundi and parishioners in the diocese of Mt Kilimanjaro over condom use to prevent HIV/AIDS has ended. The Rev Andrew Kajembe said: 'The row has been diffused after both sides realised that it was going to split the ... diocese down the middle.'

24 January 2010: Erratum
A correspondent informs us that we were very confused in our description of the CAN election and Bishop Imasuen's role in it. He says 'Archbishop Peter Akinola was defeated in 2007 as CAN President. But the contest was with Archbishop John Onayeikan of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, who is still the incumbent President of the umbrella Christian body in Nigeria. The way CAN is structured, there is only one (National) President while the State leaders are addressed as Chairman. So rightly Bishop Peter Imaseun is the State Chairman of the Edo State Chapter of CAN.' We apologize for the mistake.


24 January 2010: Nigerian bishop kidnapped at gunpoint
The Compass (Lagos) reports that gunmen have abducted Peter Imasuen, Bishop of Benin, from his hiome. Benin City is the capital of Edo State in Nigeria. Bishop Imasuen, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, defeated incumbent president Archbishop Peter Akinola in a bitter election in 2007.

24 January 2010: Church and state in the UK
The Equality Bill being debated in the UK Parliament is complex, contentious, and potentially far reaching. Debate about the concept, if not the bill, has been going on for nearly 7 years. Thinking Anglicans keeps its extensive coverage of equality-bill issues current, and Thinking Anglicans editor Simon Sarmiento has written this comment for The Guardian on the current state of that Bill.

24 January 2010: Anglican leaders in Haiti explain their priorities
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Bishop of Haiti gave a briefing to Episcopal Relief and Development workers outlining the diocese's priorities in rebuilding after the recent earthquake. That report also contains a fairly detailed description of the damage sustained by the Episcopal Church in Haiti. The US Episcopal News Service has major coverage of the goings-on in Haiti.

24 January 2010: Australian bishop urges repentance for student attacks
The Australian reports that Australian bishop Philip Huggins urged a congregation in Melbourne to repent on behalf of their culture for recent violence against Indian students in Australia.

22 January 2010: New bishop coadjutor appointed for Cuba
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Revd Griselda Delgado Del Carpio has been appointed as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Church of Cuba. Read the article to learn who did the appointing and the details of her upcoming consecration.

22 January 2010: Agenda for upcoming Church of England General Synod
The Church Times reports that the agenda for the upcoming Synod in England includes pensions, Fresh Expressions, and religion on television. The Church Times also reports that a private member's motion has been proposed in the General Synod to 'express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America” (ACNA)'. Women and the Church 'notes with deep regret that there will be no debate on the draft legislation for women bishops.'

21 January 2010: Second All Africa Bishops Conference
The New Vision (Uganda) reports that the Second All Africa Bishops Conference will be held in Entebbe in August 2010. The first such conference was in Nigeria in 2004.

19 January 2010: Church violence in Nigeria
The Daily Triumph reports that 35 people have been arrested and several weapons recovered following an attack on worshippers at an Anglican Church in the Diocese of Enugu. Punch Nigeria explains that the Bishop of Enugu says that this was 'internal terrorism', sectarian violence. This Day (Lagos) reports that the Nigerian military has taken control of the city of Jos to restore normalcy.


16 January 2010: Scottish church votes not to elect Britain's first female bishop
Reuters reports that the Scottish Episcopal Church voted against electing Britain's first female bishop, choosing instead a more experienced male candidate.

16 January 2010: Former priest, trustee of Church of North India arrested
The Mumbai Mirror (India) reports on the arrest of octogenarian Prabhakar Amolik on charges of fraud related to his role and influence with the Bombay Diocesan Trust Association. The Trust has been selling off church properties despite court challenges. Daily News & Analysis (Mumbai) provides some background on the long-standing dispute.

15 January 2010: Retired former ABC and politics in the UK
The US Episcopal News Service reported that former ABC Lord Carey is stirring the pot with recent comments on immigration. This prompted many thoughtful replies, one of which, by the sitting Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, was reported in The Times.

15 January 2010: Church and state in Nigeria
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Primate of the Church of Nigeria spoke out to criticize politicians harping on the virtual disappearance of the country's president. As outlined in this BBC report, President Umuru Yar'Adua has been in Saudi Arabia since November, receiving medical treatment.

15 January 2010: ABC to be honoured by US Jesuits
The Ethiopian Review (yes, that Ethiopia) reports that the US Jesuit weekly magazine America has named the Archbishop of Canterbury winner of its 2009 Campion Award. Even Roman rivers are cold in January.

15 January 2010: Australian bishop dresses down his dressed-down clergy
The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah, USA) carried the Religion News Service story that Bishop Robert Forsyth of South Sydney has complained that his clergy dress like bums.

13 January 2010: Obituary: The Rt Revd Kenneth Leslie
The Cowra Guardian (Australia) reports on the passing of the oldest bishop in Australia, the Rt Revd Kenneth Leslie OBE, who was widely loved as a 'people's bishop'.

13 January 2010: Corpus Toasti
The Telegraph (UK) reports that a British artist has made a sculpture of the Crucifixion entirely out of burnt toast. There is, of course, no shortage of cold dry burnt toast in Britain.

12 January 2010: Completing the change in Portsmouth
The Portsmouth (UK) News reports on the 2 new treble bells being cast by Taylor Eayre & Smith for the cathedral in Old Portsmouth. The bells are due to be installed alongside the existing 10 bells in the tower in March, bringing the ring to a full complement of 12.

12 January 2010: Bless the plow, bless the BlackBerry
The Telegraph (London) reports on the service of blessing villagers' tools, including those that use lithium ion batteries, at St Lawrence Jewry.

11 January 2010: Archbishop accuses China over role in Sudan
Reuters reports on Sudanese Archbishop Daniel Deng's remarks on China's relationship with Sudan: 'China is looking only for minerals, they are looking for economic benefit. That is all. That is damaging the country. They are not even making peace'. He urged Beijing to use its influence to ease tensions ahead of elections in his country.


10 January 2010: Church and sectarian violence in Malaysia
Radio Australia News reports that a petrol bomb was thrown at a Roman Catholic convent school, the fifth recent arson event against Christian churches in Malaysia.

9 January 2010: Church and politics in Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwe Telegraph (Harare) reports on the continuing government-sponsored harassment of the Diocese of Harare, which is being orchestrated by its ousted former bishop. The Independent (London) reports this (never-ending) story in considerably more detail.

8 January 2010: Bishop and union in UK clash over bullying
The Unite trade union has 2500 members in its faith-workers branch, and, according to the Church Times, cases of bullying among the clergy are becoming more frequent and nastier. The Bishop of Ripon & Leeds, John Packer, doesn't believe that the bullying is rife. But the readers of the Church Times seem to think that it is, when they responded to this week's online question, 'Do you have experience of the bullying of clergy?' The numbers change as more people reply, but when we checked, the vast majority said yes.

7 January 2010: Obituary: Graham Leonard
The Telegraph (London) has published an obituary of the Rt Revd Mgr Graham Leonard, former Bishop of London who became a Roman Catholic when the Church of England begain ordaining women.

6 January 2010: Loyalist beer mug could fetch $100,000
The Reverend John Stuart was a loyalist and founder of the Anglican church in Upper Canada. When he and his wife fled from New York in 1781, one of the few possessions they took with them was a silver tankard made in Philadelphia in 1742 for her parents' wedding. The mug was discovered in a vault in London where it had lain for a century, and it is now being offered on auction by Christie's. CanWest News forecasts that it might fetch US$100,000 at auction.

5 January 2010: Church and politics in Nigeria
The Daily Independent (Lagos) reports ' Thugs Disrupt Church Service in Ogun - Cleric Probes Senator's Involvement'. The Venerable Olumuyiwa Ilekoya, was preparing to lead a thanksgiving service at a packed church in Sodubi Onilolobo, when his way was barred by six men - two of them with guns. When most of the congregation had escaped, the Baba Ijo (Father of the Church), Senator Femi Okurounmu told the church's lay reader to conduct the service for the handful who remained. Punch (Lagos) reports that the senator had been complaining about the vicar's blunt sermons. The bishop is investigating.

4 January 2010: First female priest from Bermuda
The Royal Gazette (Bermuda) reports on the ordination of the Revd Joanna Hollis as Bermuda's first woman priest. She is not yet a priest in Bermuda, as the US Episcopal News Service explains more clearly.


1 January 2010: Cleric wants those against cultural organisation stoned
The Monitor (Uganda) reports on remarks by the Revd Esau Omara concerning those who are against the Lango Cultural Foundation. His ire was directed at politicians and others he sees as not respecting cultural institutions.

1 January 2010: Vicar resigns over 'barrack-room' language
The Daily Mail (London) reports on the resignation of the Revd Richard Grey after complaints about his use of 'coarse' language. It doesn't help matters that he is a 'close friend' of the ABC.

1 January 2010: Olympic torch accompanied by 'Happiness Ambassadors'
The Anglican Journal (Canada) has a story on a young ACC woman, one of the 'Happiness Ambassadors' who accompany the Olympic torch on its way to Vancouver.


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